Gardening: Pastime or Survival Skill?

Adore this essay "Lessons from My Grandmother" by Gayla Trail of You Grow Girl.

Before gardening was a pleasure and a sunny afternoon pastime, gardening was, for many women, a norm and a necessity.


In Gayla's essay, she outlines the way her grandmother's approach to gardening may have helped create the foundation for her own passion for gardening—even despite the fact that her grandmother's approach to gardening was with a tedium much like you and me might approach, say, washing the daily dishes.

From Gayla's essay:

"Did she grow plants for pleasure, for purpose, or simply because it was second nature? After all, my grandmother came from a place where growing food (especially among poor people like herself) is just what people did. There was no fuss. It wasn't a big deal or a greatly considered act, you just did it as a way to make use of what you had available and improve your quality of life."

This essay comes during a complex shifting of the times—a time when, ready or not, old survival skills are becoming new necessities. As we all watch as the economy worsens, many ordinary people are headed to the vegetable garden, not just for pleasure but to actually cut down their grocery bills and feed their families. More and more gardens across the nation are becoming necessary again. So, as newly struggling Americans circle back to the garden's original roots, Gayla's essay made a kind of sense it might not have a few years ago.

+++ Have you seen gardens becoming more a necessity than a pastime in your families or neighborhoods?

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